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He left way too soon; friends want to establish memorial scholarship

By John Estridge, Editor

Roger J. Clontz had a bright future ahead of him.

A 2015 Franklin County High School graduate, Clontz was the initial entry into Clippards apprenticeship program. That Cincinnati business thought so much of Clountz, the company has named its apprenticeship program after him.

Clontz was but two weeks away from entering that program when he was tragically killed in a head-on collision on U.S. 52 West, just west of its intersection with Landfill Road.

The Wednesday, June 8, 2016 crash was through no fault of Clontz, who was 19 at the time of the accident. The other vehicle was left of center, according to the police report.

There will be a benefit for Clontz on Saturday, August 12.

The benefit ride, organized by Jeremy Rage King, will begin at Borderline in Harrison, Ohio, at 10 a.m. From Borderline, the ride will continue to the Pioneer Restaurant in Brookville. From there, it will go to the Longbranch in Laurel. After a stop there, it will proceed to the Depot in Metamora. Arrival time is estimated to be around 2 p.m.

There, the party will start with good food, raffles, gift baskets and music. CMA recording artist Nick Winters is scheduled to play, as well as Shannon Amber. Also, Michael Durham/Studio 309. Memorial T-shirts will also be on sale.

Food will be served beginning at 4 p.m. It consists of pulled pork, mac and cheese and coleslaw.

This will be a kid-friendly environment, with many activities planned for the younger set. Camping is available on the premises.

After the Metamora event, there will be a motocross ride at Haspin Acres that evening. This is the second year for the Haspin ride.

According to friends, Clontz loved to be at Haspin. He enjoyed working on vehicles and four wheeling.

“It was nothing to have four Jeeps at the house,” Jaime Ison said.

Clontz was on his way to Ison's house when the accident occurred. Her sons, Trent Ison and Blake Gadzinski, are organizing the Haspin ride. Ison and Gadzinski were Clontz' best friends, according to Ison.

Money raised in this event will go to a scholarship in Clontz' name, at the Franklin County Foundation, Ison said. Trent Ison and Gadzinski are the ones who are trying to set up the scholarship with the foundation.

“He had so much ahead of him,” Ison said.

The family members said they have not been told about the status of the investigation into the accident. It was investigated by the Indiana State Police.